Category Archives: The 12 days of a gluten free Christmas

The 12 days of a gluten free Christmas The 12 days of a gluten free Christmas

Christmas is a time of year when we all want to feel a little bit special and indulge when we eat out. Frequently, the coeliac diner is left with a very basic meal and yet Christmas food is all about the trimmings. The aim was to create a ‘shopping list’ of Christmas products readily available nationally, so that caterers can easily add these to their Christmas menus.

On the tenth day of a gluten free Christmas …crackers for the cheese board

For the tenth day of Christmas we taste tested gluten free crackers. If you are planning to serve a cheese board post dinner, then we have done all the hard work for you, by reviewing the crackers on offer. There is so much availability and choice now in all the main supermarkets, so it was simply a case of which crackers we preferred!

It is very rare, actually like most things we have taste tested, for me to be served crackers with a cheese board when eating out. In fact I can actually only think of one occasion where this has happened in the twenty plus years I have been diagnosed as a coeliac and that was in a very posh hotel about sixteen years ago!

Although some coeliacs can be lactose intolerant, most of us aren’t and so we would enjoy cheese as a course to finish off a special meal and how wonderful it would be if one could be served gluten free crackers with it too.

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.

On the ninth day of a gluten free Christmas …yummy desserts

For the ninth day of our 12 days of Christmas we taste tested gluten free desserts – I know…. it is a tough job I do…..

Some of the desserts we tried were frozen and not labelled specifically gluten free. EU allergen legislation demands that if gluten is present as an ingredient on pre-packaged food, then it must be declared as an allergen on the packaging – see the FSA’s website – EU allergen law. This means that if gluten (which includes barley, wheat, oats and rye) is not declared as an allergen on the packaging then it is safe for coeliacs to eat. I have stated oats, because, as I have mentioned previously, some coeliacs cannot tolerate oats (even if they are labelled as gluten free), so if in doubt, please leave it out.

There was quite a bit of choice for this day, so, it would be really lovely to see some of these offered on Christmas menus. If you can make desserts suitable for coeliacs, then even better, but if you don’t have the time, or the kitchen set up to make gluten free desserts safely, then please look at some of these desserts that you can offer.

If you do want to make a dessert that’s not just fruit, then take a look at our KISS Campaign from last year – there may be some ideas there for you.

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.

On the eighth day of a gluten free Christmas …pigs in blankets

One Christmas trimming that is often forgotten about for coeliacs is pigs in blankets. I know you can just buy gluten free chipolata sausages and wrap smoked bacon around them, however, the purpose of this ‘12 days of a gluten free Christmas‘ series of blogs is to make it very easy for caterers to source and purchase gluten free alternatives.

Like many of the Christmas foods we have tried for this, I have never been offered gluten free pigs in blankets when eating out. My dining companions get the whole shebang – stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy and I end up with just the meat and vegetables. There is plenty of time to source some of these trimmings and shove them in the freezer for your coeliac diners. I cannot over emphasise what a difference it would make to mine (and my fellow coeliacs) enjoyment of a Christmas meal out.

As it happens, we had quite a tough time finding pigs in blankets. In fact at the time of taste testing, only three retailers sold them. Hopefully, as we creep closer to the main day there may be more stockists.

As always, all of the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.